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Psyllium

What is Psyllium?

Psyllium comes from the crushed seeds of the Plantago ovata plant, an herb native to parts of Asia, Mediterranean regions of Europe, and North Africa. The psyllium seed husks have been used in herbal remedies. Similar to oats and wheat, psyllium is rich in soluble fiber. Traditionally, psyllium is used as a gentle bulk-forming laxative for constipation.

Psyllium for High Cholesterol

Soluble fiber from psyllium forms a gel when mixed with liquid. Recently, the FDA approved a health claim: 3g to 12g soluble fiber from psyllium seed husk when included as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol, may reduce the risk of heart disease.

Studies have shown that psyllium is effective in lowering total cholesterol and LDL (the Bad cholesterol) levels. Studies also found that a 1% reduction in total and LDL cholesterol can reduce the risk of heart disease by up to 2%.

Soluble Fiber

Oat/Oat bran
Dried beans and peas
Barley
Flax seed
Fruits such as oranges and apples
Vegetables such as carrots
Other Benefits of Psyllium

Since psyllium husk is a type of fiber, it can alleviate constipation. In addition, recent studies also showed positive benefits of psyllium in IBS (Crohn’s Disease and Colitis). Psyllium acts as prebiotics – aiding to heal the inner lining of the inflamed intestines.